Argyle Motor Manufacturing Company, Ltd., were launched by managing director William Moffat on November, 1968 in the Flakefield estate in East Kilbride. Their aim was to produce, in limited production and to order, hand-built lorries made in Scotland with a payload of 16-ton and two possible chassis, either rigid or tipper.
The company became a member of the Scottish Motor Trade association on November 1969; their first prototype was ready for testing a month later. With some small changes having been made to the design of the cab to make it easier to access and control, it passed all tests on March 1970, when it was handed over to the Rutherglen contractors by provost Niven of East Kilbride.
On December 1970 they achieved their production rate of one vehicle per week. Even in that initial stage, the company’s vehicle was seen as a competitive alternative to those of most major makers, with inquiries being made about it from countries ranging from Poland to New Zealand.
Manufacturing was short-lived though, and the company stopped production in 1973.
Ambulances are a relatively new invention, having been created towards the end of the 19th century. Before then, police, firefighters, and taxi drivers would staff their vehicles with wheeled stretchers – or “litters”, as they were known – in case they were called to take an ill or injured person to the nearest hospital or doctor’s surgery- a duty they kept sharing until full-time ambulance service was established around the turn of the 20th century, years after ambulances had been invented.
The horse drawn ambulance at the Dundee Museum of Transport was built in 1884 for around £100, which is over £12,00 in present day money. It carried one “litter”, and it served for almost forty years in Aberfeldy as a fever ambulance until 1920, when it was last used to take an appendix patient to Perth Royal Infirmary.
It then spent the following fifty years as a henhouse before being restored by the Scottish Ambulance Preservation Society, with help from the craft department of Kirkcaldy Technical College. To celebrate its restoration, it was paraded along the harbour front of Kirkcaldy and put on show in the High Street. There were no available horses on the day, so they had to use a Land-Rover to pull it!
The SMT (Scottish Motor Traction) Company held the ambulance in its showroom on Victoria Road, in Kirkcaldy, before moving it to the Grampian Transport Museum in Alford. It was thereafter transferred to Dundee Museum of Transport and has been on permanent display since the museum opened in 2014.
On the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11 (16th July 1969), Dundee Museum of Transport looks at Dundee’s current links to space transport. Most people would be surprised to learn that space technology research based from Dundee is now used in £10 billion worth of spacecraft thanks to the pioneering work being developed at the University of Dundee’s Space Technology Centre.
The SpaceWire team at the UoD Space Technology Centre has been working in the field of space craft data technology for over twenty years, creating what they describe as essentially a spacecraft’s nervous system in that it connects on-board computing technology. Other space research at Dundee includes the PANGU (Planet and Asteroid Natural scene Generation Utility) planetary landing simulation tool – computer software that simulates the realistic surface of planetary bodies, and tests the vision-based guidance systems (cameras, LIDAR, and RADAR) on a lander approaching asteroids, moons and planets.
The adoption of SpaceWire on NASA (America’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration), ESA (European Space Agency) and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) missions led to the need for improvements in device interoperability (the exchange of data between computer systems). Supported by international engineers, the University team created The Remote Memory Access Protocol (RMAP) – which became an international standard in 2010 – to successfully tackle device interoperability.
Over 100 spacecraft so far have used SpaceWire and RMAP. The missions include BepiColombo – the joint European and Japanese space mission to explore the planet Mercury, and the ExoMars Rover mission in scientific operations in the orbit and surface of Mars.
Professor Stephen Parkes began work on spacecraft data technology in 1998, winning a technology research contract from ESA. This research laid the foundations for what was to be published in 2003 as the SpaceWire standard. Over the period 1998 to 2013, the success of the £1.6 million research programme led to the establishment of STAR-Dundee, a company which has 16 employees and 400 customers in 50 countries. STAR-Dundee is currently developing SpaceFibre, the next generation of SpaceWire technology, for vision-based navigation systems.
University of Dundee Space Technology also conduct research on chip and software development tools, run the Dundee Satellite Receiving Station and maintain an important archive of images from NOAA, SeaStar, Terra and Aqua polar orbiting satellites. These images are available to view for free at www.sat.dundee.ac.uk.
On a side note, Dundee born scientist and engineer Andrew Abercromby is now Lead of the Human Physiology, Performance, Protection & Operations (H-3PO) Laboratory within the Biomedical Research and Environmental Sciences Division at Johnson Space Centre for NASA. Working on several missions, he undertakes the design and testing of spacesuit systems.
Our small collection of railway-related items has been enhanced thanks to this generous donation of a 1897 North British Railway Timetable and two rail tickets. The tickets appear to date from the 1850s and 1860s and relate to commercial trade between Dundee and London.
We hope to find out more about these items later this year during Neale Elder’s talk on 12th September titled ‘The Dundee to Arbroath Railway: From Pioneering Line to Trunk Route’.
Do you have any local railway items that you would consider donating to the museum? If so, we would love to hear from you!
The museum would like to thank Mr John A. Smith for donating his Audi 80. John received his new 1994 Audi 80 from Lex Retail Group in Dundee on the 3rd of December 1994. He has been the proud owner of the car for 25 years until he donated it to the museum last week. Along with the car John has kindly included various pieces of paperwork about the car including service invoices, instruction manual and DVLA letters. John was also able to supply the museum with two brochures about the Audi 80, both of which are in very good condition.
Back in 1994 Audi 80 Saloon was an impressive and luxurious car for all those who owned one. John’s car has a 1.6 litre engine, was capable of reaching 62 mph (miles per hour) in 13.4 seconds and could achieve a top speed of 111 mph. The Audi 80 came equipped with a 5 speed gear box, 5 forward gears and reverse, and the estate model even boasted a Final Drive Ratio. The base model came with a 4-cylinder engine and this was capable of producing 130 Nm of Torque and 100 bhp (brake horse power). The stats for the Audi 80 were impressive for a saloon car that weighed 1230 kg (the estate model came in at 1270 kg). In the 90s, the Audi 80 was a stylish and comfortable way to travel whether you were cruising around town or clocking up the miles on long drives down the motorway.
We at the Dundee Museum of Transport are very grateful to John for donating his Audi 80 to us and we are happy to give it a new home here.
Single-deckers, double-deckers, open-toppers and coaches – this week you can see them all at Dundee Museum of Transport. The museum is hosting two bus-themed events, the first kicking off on Thursday 13th June at 6pm with an illustrated talk on Dundee Buses: From Green to Blue by transport enthusiast and amateur photographer Derek Simpson.
The talk will focus on Derek’s extensive photographic collection of Dundee’s buses over the decades and promises to be a trip down memory lane with photographs of many scenes that no longer exist in Dundee. Derek said, “in 1975 when Tayside Regional Council took over the running of Dundee’s Corporation buses it wasn’t just the colours that changed. I’m really focusing on the last years of half cabs in Dundee, the move from green to blue and also what the buses would look like as we moved into the brave new world of regionalisation.”
On Sunday the 16th of June from 10:30am – 3pm the Museum will also be hosting its annual Bus and Coach Day, with over ten vintage buses attending the Market Mews premises from across Scotland. There will also be some stalls, the popular tea-on-the-bus and free vintage bus runs for visitors to enjoy.
The Ford Capri Mk I was originally launched in January 1969, a master stroke of Ford’s marketing. The Capri was ‘The Car You Always Promised Yourself’ and squarely aimed at the ‘baby boomer’ generation.
1974 saw the introduction of the Ford Capri II where the mechanicals were much the same as the previous model but with completely new bodywork incorporating a most useful hatchback and a much roomier interior. Engines ranged from 1.3 to 3 litres and, depending on size, were built in either Britain or Germany. The Mk III followed in 1978 with minor tweaks and is recognisable by its quadruple round headlamps replacing the oblong ones. The S (Sport) replaced the former GT. This particular car has modified bodywork with swelled wheel arches, wider tracks, and special wheel equipment together with after market spoilers.
The Capri was a very successful model for Ford with production running from 1969-1986, and will be on display at Dundee Museum of Transport for the entire summer.
Our first museum talk of the 2019 season kicks off on the 22nd of May, 6pm, with ‘Bridgescapes: Scotland’s Bridge Building Heritage’ by L. Bruce Keith.
Join us for a fascinating journey through Scotland’s Bridge Building Heritage. Scotland boasts a rich and varied heritage. Its landscapes and history combine to provide a legacy of human endeavour, ingenuity and endurance. Within that heritage lies a tangible and functional element of Man’s Creation – the bridge – linking lands and communities while providing a structural artefact and landscape element that reaches beyond its primary purpose as transport infrastructure.
As author John Buchan said: The bridge is a symbol of mans conquest of nature. History social, economic and military clusters more thickly about bridges than about towns and citadels. Bruce Keith authored Bridgescapes in 2017, which is a journey through history celebrating this heritage, finding voice in the challenges to the traveller and the achievements of the engineers and architects in creating solutions as part of the country’s road, rail and canal networks.
Tickets are £5, including refreshments and museum entry. Members can attend the talk for free.
You can book directly by calling 01382 455196 / firstname.lastname@example.org and pay on the night. The museum will open at 5:30pm and close at 7:30pm.
Today, the 26th April 2019, the Dundee Museum of Transport marks its 5th birthday!
To celebrate this milestone we once again play host to National Drive-It Day. This coming Sunday, the 28th of April, there will be a street display of vehicles, family-friendly activities, stalls and tea-on-the-bus – check-out the images below for an idea of what to expect. We would love for you to join us to help us celebrate!
Our collection continues to grow, and the museum continues to draw thousands of people every year in increasing numbers. We thank you all, our members, volunteers, visitors and partners, for your support over the years and hope to see you in the very near future.
A year long Heritage Lottery Funded Project that strengthened governance and embedded resilience at Dundee Museum of Transport has officially ended.
In late 2017, Dundee Museum of Transport received £14,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for their project Preparing for the future: building skills and capacity at the Dundee Museum of Transport. The funding enabled the museum to work with Henderson Loggie, Wendy West Consultancy and CFJ Associates to achieve strategic change and continue to develop the museum. The consultants reviewed and embed new methods of financial management and helped to improve governance at all levels, from volunteer management to the Board of Trustees. Over the course of the project, members of the museum team attended workshops on charity law and finance, fundraising and museum management and made site visits to Grampian Transport Museum and the Scottish Railway Preservation Society in Bo’ness to gain inspiration and consider new ways of working.
Samantha Walker, Museum Manager, said: “Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund our staff, volunteers and trustees have developed new skills and benefitted from working closely with experts in the museums and charities sector to make us a more resilient organisation. Despite 2018 being a challenging year in terms of funding and organisational changes, the support we received really helped us to overcome these challenges and we are undoubtedly stronger than we were a year ago.”
The National Lottery
National Lottery players raise, on average, over £30 million each week for projects all over the country. In total £37 billion has been raised for Good Causes since The National Lottery began in 1994 and more than 510,000 individual grants have been made across the UK, the majority (70 per cent) of which are for £10,000 or less, helping small projects make a big difference in their community!
The Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery. For more information, please contact Katie Owen, HLF Press Office on tel: 020 7591 6036 @heritagelottery #NationalLottery